Dark Money is the term given to money that flows through 501(c)(4) organizations. That is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax code that defines what can and cannot be done in this regard. This followed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that clarified that these groups can spend any amount of money desired without the need to tell us from whom that money came.
There are several points to be made:
First, this reiterates for any of us who might’ve forgotten that presidential appointments and congressional confirmations of justices to the U.S. Supreme Court are extremely important and extremely serious occurrences. If we have had any doubts about the importance of whom we elect to federal positions, this alone ought to be sufficient to disabuse us of those thoughts. There are likely four of those appointments to be made in the next four to eight years so your vote for president this year is huge.
Second, these dark money groups can call themselves whatever they wish, so we also must be mindful that we cannot rely on a group’s name to tell us anything about the motives and drivers behind the group. As a matter of fact, the more the name might sound conservative, the more it might actually be driven by liberals and vice versa. We have to do our due diligence before we vote if we want to be certain we know what we’re doing in that booth.
Third, we know that many, maybe even most, voters do nothing other than to follow their preferred party’s direction, and that is scary no matter the party affiliation or leaning a voter might have. There are too many shady operators in politics today. There are political operatives who, like chameleons, seem to blend in with whatever the flavor of this race turns out to be.
Fourth, we see things such as the Paul Nehlen ‘interloper’ attack on Paul Ryan in Wisconsin with the support of borderline republican operatives who seem to flow with the current of the day. There is no requirement that these people be at all honest as you and I would define honesty. They go with the flow, and the flow is dictated by who is controlling the purse strings; and we know that we have no legal standing to demand to be made aware of just where the money is coming from, so we are on our own to ferret out that information.
Be aware. Do not follow the yellow brick road just because someone lays it out for you to follow. Be sure the person whom you are relying upon is the same person you thought you knew before. Tigers in this business change their stripes regularly. The source of the money determines the complexion of the operative. Anne Coulter,for example, is not the same Anne Coulter this time around, since she is being supported financially by different people whose goals are different. That doesn’t make her a bad person. It simply means that we each must do our own due diligence. We cannot take anything at face value in politics at this level anymore…and maybe we never could but that line of demarcation is much more distinct today than ever before following the Supreme Court ruling in 2010.
Finally, if you know people who would benefit from knowing they can’t always believe their eyes and ears in this day and age, share the ‘dark money’ reality with them so they at least understand why the changes are occurring, and better understand why the person they thought they knew might not be the same person this cycle.